Tag Archives: .fr

Former Afnic CEO Reveals New Job With French Government

Mathieu Weill imageThe former CEO of Afnic, Mathieu Weill, has announced his new position following a surprise resignation in late April. The new position is Head of Digital Economy Department with the Ministry of Economy in France.

Weill surprisingly quit his role as head of Afnic, the announcement coming in late April with the board appointing Pierre Bonis, then the Deputy CEO, as Acting Chief Executive Officer from 1 May. A recruitment process is currently underway for a permanent CEO.

But with his new position becoming public it is now clear the reason for the quick change – a new position with the French government.

Afnic acts as the registry for the French ccTLD and a number of French territory ccTLDs. The announcement came just days after Afnic announced it has been awarded the right to operate .fr for another 5 years by the French government.

Mathieu Weill Steps Down As Afnic CEO After 12 Years

Mathieu Weill, the CEO of the French ccTLD registry Afnic, will be stepping down as of 1 May. In an announcement today on the website for the French country code top level domain, it notes he “has been appointed to other duties as from 1 May 2017.”

In his place as of 1 May the current deputy CEO, Pierre Bonis, will take on the role of Acting CEO while a search is undertaken to replace Weill.

The announcement comes just days after Afnic announced it has been awarded the right to operate .fr for another 5 years.

Weill was appointed CEO of Afnic in July 2005. During that time, according to Weill’s LinkedIn profile, .fr has grown from 300,000 to 3 million domains under management, improved customer satisfaction and technical performance, contributed to and implemented a complete rewrite of the legal and regulatory environment, acquired customers for 17 new gTLDs, launched the Afnic Foundationfor Digital Inclusion and led a full review of legislation and regulations for the domain sector.

He has also been a co-chair of the working group on enhancing ICANN's Accountability since 2014 and undertaken numerous other activities, mostly within Europe.

Marking the departure of Weill, the Afnic Board of Directors unanimously hailed the work he has accomplished since 2005 as head of the association in a statement on their website.

Mathieu Weill's work resulted in strong growth for Afnic during that period according to the statement, enabling the association to enhance its expertise, diversify its activities, and gain broader recognition both in France and on the international market. Mathieu Weill successfully oversaw those major changes by involving both the staff of the association and all of its stakeholders.

Afnic's Board of Directors will launch a call for candidates for the position of CEO and will select one or more independent firms of consultants to support it in the open process.


Afnic Awarded Contract To Run .FR For 5 More Years

Afnic has been awarded the right to operate the .fr ccTLD for another 5 years, the registry announced.

In December 2016 .fr passed the 3 million domain name registrations mark, just days after the Italian country code top level domain, .it, passed the same mark.

In a decree dated 5 April 2017 published in the Official Journal of the French Republic, Mr. Christophe Sirugue, French Minister of State for Industry, the Digital Sector and Innovation, has appointed Afnic as the Registry for the .fr TLD for a term of 5 years from 25 June 2017.

“We are delighted by this decision which rewards the commitment and work of the teams and members of Afnic, who have allowed us to meet our commitments to make .fr a secure, simple and competitive namespace. With growth close to 30% since 2012, the .fr is one of the 4 most dynamic TLD suffixes in Europe and ranks as one of the top 10 in top-level domains worldwide. The .fr now represents a community of more than 3 million online successes,” said Mathieu Weill, Afnic CEO.

Afnic will continue to promote the .fr as a key partner in ensuring the online presence of SOHOs / SMEs, supporting digital solidarity and making the voice of France heard at the international level.

For the next 5 years, Afnic has set itself the goal of helping the one million French SOHOs / SMEs still absent from the Internet get on-line. Since 2012, the Réussir-en.fr program has been helping them begin their digital transformation and develop their online presence with business diagnostics, tools and practical advice.

A non-profit association committed to combat digital exclusion, Afnic donates most of the profits from .fr to the Afnic Foundation for Digital Solidarity, created in 2015, which financed 35 projects throughout France as of its first operating year in 2016.


.FR: Another ccTLD Reaches The 3 Million Club

A week or so after the Italian ccTLD .it reached three million registrations, the French ccTLD reached the same milestone.

afnic-3-million-fr-registrations-french-imageIt means the French country code Top Level Domain (ccTLD), today with 3,005,270 registrations, is probably the tenth largest ccTLD behind .it given the latest Verisign Domain Name Industry Brief for the end of June, discounting .tk (Tokelau) due to it giving away its domain names and the large amount of phishing spam and scams using the ccTLD’s domains.

The .fr grew by 2.1% in 2016 and the registry says simplicity, attractiveness and trust are the main reasons for its success.

“Registering a .fr domain name is one of the keys to a successful online presence for companies and individuals alike,” said Mathieu Weill, Afnic CEO. “To support the development of their business on the Internet, Afnic has set up the Réussir-en.fr program (réussir-en.fr), and intends to continue its efforts to make France a European leader in online presence.”

.fr domain names are available for registration to any person or business with a mailing address in the European Union.

Afnic donates 90% of the profits generated by .fr to its Foundation for Digital Inclusion(fondation-afnic.fr) which funds field projects to make the Internet accessible to the greatest number of people and to reduce digital exclusion throughout France.

Afnic Steps Out Of .FR Domain Name Transfers

AFNIC logoThe .fr registry will no longer have a formal involvement in domain name transfers as of 12 December.

The simplification in rules will see transfers of domain names only requiring the involvement of registrants and their registrars, and additionally Afnic will no longer require a payment to them for the procedure.

The new version of the Naming Policy is available from:

Following Brexit, Future Of Hundreds Of Thousands Of British-Registered Domains In Doubt

The future of hundreds of thousands of domain names are in doubt following the UK’s “Brexit” referendum where Britons decided to leave the European Union. The TLD to be most impacted is .eu which has 294,000 registrations to individuals and companies in the UK out of a total of 3.82 million registrations, according to the latest EURid quarterly report. Along with .eu, .it and .fr among others require registrants to be based in the European Union or from the European Economic Area.The future of these domain names has been addressed in a discussion paper published by the German internet association, eco, called “Brexit – Challenges for the Domain Industry?“.So assuming the Brexit happens in a few years, what happens to the affected domain names? And also to the registrars in other European countries who have customers based in the UK?The eco discussion paper notes there has already been a change in behaviour with registrars observing a drop-off in registration numbers.”With our paper and the opening of a discussion forum, we would like to contribute to making the impact of Brexit clear and understandable for companies and customers, as well as – on the basis of expert knowledge – contributing towards the rapid creation of legal certainty for all those involved,” said lawyer Thomas Rickert, Leader of the eco Names & Numbers Forum.Looking to the future the paper presents five options for how the problem is likely to be addressed. They also take into consideration that a bilateral agreement between the EU and the UK could potentially be made that includes domain registrations and prevents an interim depletion in registrations. The options are a suspension of registrations ordered by the European Commission, a grandfathering for existing registrations, all registrations could be revoked, the use of proxy registration services and finally, that the UK stays in the European Economic Area. Stay tuned!To download the eco paper, Brexit – Challenges for the Domain Industry?, in full, go to:

Domains Reach 326 Million With New gTLDs Now 5 Percent Of All Registrations

There were 326.4 million domain names registered across all top level domains (TLDs) around the world at the end of the first quarter 2016, an increase of approximately 12 million domain names, or 3.8 percent over the fourth quarter of 2015, according to the latest Domain Name Industry Brief published by Verisign. Registrations have grown by 32.4 million, or 11 percent, year over year.As of 31 March, new gTLD registrations totalled 16.1 million, which represented 4.9 percent of total domain name registrations. The top 10 new gTLDs represented over half (54.8%) of all new gTLD domain name registrations. The largest of the new gTLDs were .xyz and .top, which accounted for 16.5 and 11.1 percent of all new gTLD registrations respectively.Total country code TLD (ccTLD) registrations were 148.2 million domain names, a 2.6 percent increase quarter over quarter, and an 8.2 percent increase year over year. The top 10 ccTLDs as of 31 March were .tk (Tokelau), .cn (China), .de (Germany), .uk (United Kingdom), .ru (Russian Federation), .nl (Netherlands), .eu (European Union), .br (Brazil), .au (Australia) and .fr (France).The .com and .net TLDs experienced aggregate growth, reaching a combined total of approximately 142.5 million domain names in the domain name base in the first quarter of 2016. This represents a 7.1 percent increase year over year. The base of registered names in .com equalled 126.6 million names, while .net equalled 15.9 million names, the latter figure having being static for around three years.New .com and .net registrations totalled 10 million during the first quarter of 2016. In the first quarter of 2015, new .com and .net registrations totalled 8.7 million.There has also been a large jump in the growth of .com and .net domain names redirecting to popular global social media and e-commerce sites compared to Q1 2015. Weibo had the largest growth of 49 percent followed by LinkedIn (35%), Etsy (30%), Facebook (27%), Amazon.com (25%) and Twitter (23%). Verisign don’t give total numbers and for most at least it is likely to be growth from a comparatively small base.Combining gTLDs and ccTLDs, the largest by zone size were .com, .tk, .cn, .de, .net, .org, .uk, .ru, .nl and .info. There were 291 global ccTLD extensions delegated in the root, including Internationalised Domain Names (IDN), with the top 10 ccTLDs composing 67.4 percent of all ccTLD registrations.Regarding .tk, Verisign quotes from a Freenom news release that the Tokelauan ccTLD is a free ccTLD that provides free domain names to individuals and businesses. Revenue is generated by monetising expired domain names. Domain names no longer in use by the registrant or expired are taken back by the registry and the residual traffic is sold to advertising networks. As such, there are no deleted .tk domain names.It also means that while .tk is the largest ccTLD, it’s numbers are very misleading when it comes to actual usage and demand.

Global Domain Registrations Grow 9% In 2015 To 314 Million, But Growth Across TLDs Uneven

The total number of domain names registered around the world grew to 314 million at the end of 2015, a growth rate of nine percent (25.9 million) for the 12 months and five percent (15m) for the fourth quarter, according to the latest Verisign Domain Name Industry Brief published Thursday.For the largest TLD of them all, .com, it’s growth is unassailable. There are now 124 million .com domains registered, up from 115.6 million a year ago, a growth of 7.3 percent. But its Verisign stablemate .net has only grown from 15 to 15.8 million, or 5.3 percent, over the same period.The .net TLD is one of a number of gTLDs, along with .us, that seemingly have been knocked by the growth of the new gTLDs. In the 12 months to 31 December there has been a significant growth in new gTLD registrations.The largest TLDs in order by zone size were .com, .tk, .cn, .de, .net, .org, .uk, .ru, .nl and .info.New gTLDs have been growing strongly. As of 31 December 2014 there were 478 new gTLDs were delegated into the root and new gTLD registrations totalled 3.6 million, or 2.3 percent of total gTLD registrations. Fast forward 12 months and there are 10.9 million new gTLD registrations, which represents 3.5 percent of the total domains registered in all gTLDs. Fast forward another three and a bit months and there are 16.8 million domains registered across the 968 new gTLDs that have been delegated. The top ten new gTLDs represented 51.9 percent of all new gTLD registrations.In the ccTLDs, growth has also been strong with approximately 144.4 million domains registered at the close of the fourth quarter of 2015, an increase of 6.6 million domain names, or a 4.8 percent increase compared to the third quarter of 2015. For the year, ccTLD registrations increased by approximately 10.4 million, or 7.7 percent. Without including .tk, which has over 26 million registrations virtually all given away for free, ccTLD quarter-over-quarter growth was six percent and year-over-year growth was nine percent.The top 10 ccTLDs, as of 31 December, were .tk (Tokelau), .cn (China), .de (Germany), .uk (United Kingdom), .ru (Russian Federation), .nl (Netherlands), .eu (European Union), .br (Brazil), .au (Australia) and .fr (France).Again as of 31 December, there were 289 global ccTLD extensions delegated in the root, including Internationalised Domain Names (IDNs), with the top 10 ccTLDs comprising 67.2 percent of all ccTLD registrations.But where is the uneven growth apart from .net? Looking at RegistrarStats.com growth appears to have largely plateaued for .org but dropped significantly for several other gTLDs including .org, whose dropped started in 2012, .biz (2014), .mobi (2014), .tel (2011) and .xxx (2012). One ccTLD that has also shown a noticeable decline is .us whose decline also commenced in 2014.A gTLD that has grown noticeably recently that isn’t a new gTLD is .pro who changed their eligibility requirements.

CENTR welcomes its new Board of Directors

CENTR small logo[news release] CENTR is happy to announce that it has elected its new Board of Directors at the association’s 55th General Assembly in Budva, Montenegro. Jörg Schweiger (DENIC, .de) was elected as Chair of the organisation’s Board of Directors. Pierre Bonis (AFNIC, .fr) and Irina Danelia (Coordination Center for TLD .RU/.РФ) were also elected as Board members. All new terms are effective as of 17 February 2016. They join current Board members Elisabeth Ekstrand (IIS, .se) and Danko Jevtović (RNIDS, .rs/.СРБ), who were elected on 19 March 2015. Danko Jevtović has also been appointed Treasurer of the Board.
Jörg Schweiger studied computer sciences and economics. Before joining DENIC in 2007, he held various IT management positions in the insurance business. After 7 years as Chief Technology Officer, he became DENIC’s CEO in 2014.
CENTR Board Members 2016
Pierre Bonis has 15 years’ experience in the field of ICTs, both in government (foreign affairs and digital economy ministry) and in the private sector (AFNIC). He has been Deputy CEO at AFNIC since 2012. He graduated in literature, philosophy and law.
Irina Danelia is a physicist by training and a graduate from the Moscow Lomonosov University. She has nearly two decades of service in executive positions in the international and Russian telecommunication industry. She has been an executive at the Coordination Center for TLD RU/РФ for more than 6 years.
CENTR wishes to warmly thank the contribution and unabating commitment of its outgoing Chair Giovanni Seppia (EURid, .eu), as well as outgoing Board members Richard Wein (NIC.AT, .at), who was first elected in 2006 and re-elected as Treasurer since, and Lise Fuhr (formerly DK Hostmaster, .dk), who was elected in February 2012. CENTR further congratulates the newly elected Board Chair and members, and wishes them great success in their new positions.
This CENTR news release was sourced from:

Total Global Domain Registrations Pass 300 Million: Verisign

The total number of domain name registrations around the world reached 299 million at the end of September according to the latest Verisign Domain Name Industry Brief, an increase of 3.1 million for the quarter. Which would mean the total today would be well over the 300 million mark.The increase of approximately 3.1 million domain names globally, compared to 2.2 million in the previous quarter to the end of June, equates to a growth rate of 1.1 percent over the second quarter of 2015. Worldwide registrations have grown by 14.8 million, or 5.2 percent, year over year. This compares to the 12 months to the end of September 2014 where registrations increased by 18.1 million and for the 12 months to the end of September 2012 where registrations grew by 26.4 million.The .com and .net TLDs experienced aggregate growth in the third quarter of 2015, reaching a combined total of approximately 135.2 million .com and .net domain names in the domain name base. This represents a 3.4 percent increase year over year.As of 30 September, 2015, the domain name base of .com equalled 120.1 million names, while .net equalled 15.1 million names, which means .net total registrations have increased by only a couple of hundred thousand in recent years and have been stagnant for over year, more or less coinciding with the introduction of new gTLDs. The figures compare to 30 September 2014 where the base of registered names in .com equalled 114.9 million names, while .net equalled 15.1 million names. At the end of September 2012 the figures were 105 million and 14.9 million respectively.In the third quarter, Verisign processed 9.2 million new domain name registrations for .com and .net, as compared to 8.7 million domain names for the same period in 2014.For ccTLDs, there were approximately 137.8 million domain names at the end of the third quarter, with a decline of about 188 thousand domain names, or a 0.1 percent decrease compared to the second quarter of 2015. As of 30 September, the top ten ccTLDs by zone size were .tk (Tokelau), .de (Germany), .cn (China), .uk (United Kingdom), .ru (Russian Federation), .nl (Netherlands), .eu (European Union), .br (Brazil), .au (Australia) and .fr (France).During the third quarter of 2015, Verisign’s average daily Domain Name System (DNS) query load was approximately 120 billion queries per day across all TLDs operated by Verisign, with a peak of nearly 593 billion. Compared to the previous quarter, the daily average query load increased 8.0 percent and the peak increased by 225.3 percent. Year over year, the daily average query load increased by 4.8 percent, and the peak increased by 86.4 percent.The Domain Name Industry Brief also highlights research conducted by Verisign analysts on how to use domain registration trends to find great domain names. Domain names have shifted from very short to keyword rich and descriptive, which in part at least reflects the limited availability of shorter domains and registrants get more creative.The Verisign research detailed within the latest Domain Name Industry Brief illustrates this trend through an examination of domain names that were registered in 2014 as compared against domain names registered prior to 2014 to determine common techniques for registering domain names. Read “Using Domain Name Registration Trends to Find Great Domain Names” to learn more about the trends and techniques uncovered.